More accessible and "unique" diabetes management programs are needed given the expected high growth of older minority populations who are most at risk, particularly older African-Americans, says a Medscape Medical News article that highlights a new report published online in Population Health Management.
Diabetes rates among African-American men and women over age 65 are higher than for whites and Latinos. Compounding concerns about diabetes management is the fact that those who most need management and care tend to have the least access. To address the gap, Medscape says, some key initiatives are focusing on use of health information technologies as well as multilevel diabetes education teams that strive to integrate cultural values and needs of African-Americans. Groups including the American Association of Diabetes Educators recently stepped up efforts to expand the programs into more accessible community settings, such as churches, schools, libraries, senior centers, and other places, and the efforts have paid off with improved participation.
Health care officials also are increasingly turning to telemedicine as a cost-effective, nontraditional means for communicating disease management services to underserved populations. In addition, the rise of geo-mapping is allowing for improved identification of communities that can best benefit from such outreach strategies, says the article. The technique creates a visual picture of state or regional areas to better identify clustered concentrations of, for example, diabetes diagnoses and related chronic conditions.